The Story of the Decembrists

Russia went through a number of rebellions in its past, but somehow the Decembrist Rebellion of 1825 had a different feel to it than some other rebellions. Maybe it was that the philosophy and nature of the rebellion was different from what one is often accustomed to.

I, for one, am accustomed to looking at peasant rebellions like the Pugachev Rebellion of 1773-1774, but the Decembrists were demographically the absolute opposite of the Pugachev Rebellion. The Decembrists, in other words, were actually a group of intellectual elites rebelling over the fact that the ideals of the French Revolution have not infiltrated into Russia.[1] Another demographic note about the Decembrists (and a striking one as well) was the fact that many of them were very young, so young that they were viewed as being child-like in a lot of ways.[2]

The best way to describe the Decembrists’ aims was this: they wanted the political system in Russia to change drastically.… Read the rest here

The Decembrists

The Decembrist Revolt was a result of and consisted of a state of confusion. Russians in whole did not have a firm understanding of the line of succession, and so when Nicholas came to power rather than Constantine many people felt betrayed. The Decembrists revolt came from a group of people in the Russian army who decided to make a public statement by not swearing allegiance to Nicholas as their loyalties were with Constantine. However, because the declaration of Nicholas as tsar was abrupt the organization of the revolt was as well (“poorly and hastily planned, inadequately executed… no other units joined them”).… Read the rest here

The Decembrist Revolution

The Decembrists failed at their mission (namely to overthrow Nicholas and place Constantine on the throne as tsar) because of poor leadership and a small following. After marching upon Senate Square, the soldiers merely stood there, waiting for orders and additional supporters, both of which never came.

Nicholas handled the uprising swiftly, surrounding Senate Square and eventually opening fire on the crowd, which quickly dissipated. He gathered up the officers involved in the failed revolution and jailed them, sending a clear message to all others who dared to question his legitimacy to the throne.… Read the rest here

The Decembrists

The Decembrists were, however unfortunately for themselves, just another group of revolutionaries that failed to make an impact or bring about a change.  They fought to put the rightful heir, Constantine, on the throne, rather than Nicholas. The strange part of the revolution is that Constantine renounced his claim to the throne years before, but Alexander kept this secret from the public until his death.

After the passing of Alexander in December of 1825, a small group of officers and soldiers (numbering about 3000) marched on the palace.… Read the rest here